One of the arguments Liberals have used in favor of same-sex marriage was that homosexuals were being denied the freedom to marry whomever they wished. (See HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)
While this argument may have some emotional appeal, it is problematic in several respects.
First, homosexuals, like heterosexuals, have long been able, to some extent, to marry whomever or whatever they wish. If a heterosexual or homosexual wished to marry someone of the same sex, they could and have done so. (See HERE) If a person, regardless of sexual orientation, wished to marry his or her pet, they could and have also done so. (See HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE) If they wished to get married to their car, or boat, or a picture of their favorite rock star, or most anything imaginable, again, they have been free to do so.
It is just that those marriages haven't been and aren't currently recognized by the government or society.
So, while people have pretty much been free to marry whomever or whatever they wish, the government and societies have likewise been free, to an extent, to legally recognize whichever marriages they see fit.
As such, limiting legal marriage to heterosexuals, hasn't been a restriction of homosexual freedoms, but an exercise of governmental and societal freedom.
Besides, homosexuals have had the same legal liberties or civil rights to marry as heterosexuals. Both can legally marry someone of the opposite sex (many homosexuals have done so), and neither can marry someone of the same sex (except where recently legalized), or an incestuous relation, or a minor. The law is the same regardless of sexual orientation.
As such the difference between heterosexuals and homosexuals isn't in freedom or even legal liberties to marry, but in personal preferences as to whom they wish to marry. Heterosexuals prefer to marry someone of the opposite sex (which the government has sanctioned through the exercise of its freedom), and homosexuals, or at least the relatively few so inclined, prefer to marry someone of the same-sex (which the government has, for the most part, freely chosen not to sanction)
However, while the freedom of homosexuals haven't been infringed by laws restricting legal marriage to heterosexuals, ironically there are a growing number of freedoms being lost through legalization of same-sex marriages and coercion from the Left. And, the loss of freedom isn't just with heterosexuals, but with homosexuals as well.
A good example of loss of freedom by heterosexuals are the lawsuits recently brought against a florist in Washington state for refusing to do the floral arrangements for a gay wedding. This is a woman who has gladly sold flowers to homosexual clients over the years, and has developed a good business relationship, if not friendship, with them. But, because of her Christian faith, she felt she couldn't in good conscience do the floral arrangement for a gay wedding. Depending upon how the court rules, not only may her right and freedom be denied to refuse services to whom she choses, but she may be denied the freedom to decide which events she will be involved in or not.
This point is well made in a Heritage Foundation article by Thomas M Messner on "Same-Sex Marriage and the Threat to Religious Freedom: How Nondiscrimination Laws factor In."
Dennis Prager also underscores this point in a radio interview with a lawyer for the Alliance for Defending Freedom representing the defendant in the previously mentioned case. He points out that by legalizing same-sex marriage, religious freedoms may be in jeopardy. And, there may also be a loss of freedom for parents to keep certain objectionable material out of public school curriculum. The ability to reasonably speak one's mind may be compromised.
Prager said: "It will mean that those who, for religious or other reasons,
wish to retain the man-woman definition of marriage will be legally and
morally as isolated as racists are today. And it will mean that teachers and other adults who ask
little boys and girls who they would like to marry, will, in order to be
in sync with the morality of our times, have to make it clear that it
might be a someone of the same sex. 'Will you marry a boy or a girl?'
will be the only non-bigoted way to ask a young person about their
marital plans." (See HERE)
Elsewhere he wrote: "Any advocacy of man-woman marriage alone will be regarded morally as
hate speech, and shortly thereafter it will be deemed so in law. Companies that advertise engagement rings will have to show a man putting a
ring on a man's finger -- if they show only women fingers, they will be
boycotted just as a company having racist ads would be now. Films that only show man-woman married couples will be regarded as
antisocial and as morally irresponsible as films that show people smoking
have become. Traditional Jews and Christians -- i.e. those who believe in a divine
scripture -- will be marginalized. Already Catholic groups in Massachusetts have abandoned adoption work since
they will only allow a child to be adopted by a married couple as the Bible
defines it -- a man and a woman. Anyone who advocates marriage between a man and a woman will be morally
regarded the same as racist. And soon it will be a hate crime." (See HERE and HERE)
Matthew Frank has said: "Should the truth about marriage—that it unites men and women so that
children will have fathers and mothers—be defied by the laws of the
land, we cannot expect the religious freedom of those who believe in
that ancient truth to be respected under the new dominion of falsehood. After all, if redefining marriage to include same-sex couples accords
with justice and moral truth, there is no good reason for the new legal
order to make room for 'conscientious' religious dissenters, for clearly
their consciences are malformed and unworthy of respect. Thus the fate
of religious freedom, for scores of millions of Americans, stands or
falls with the fate of conjugal marriage itself....There are several well-known cases of bakers, photographers—even a
religious nonprofit property owner—facing grave legal jeopardy for their
refusal to offer their services or facilities in contradiction of their
felt obligations to witness to the truth about marriage as it is taught
by their faith. .Or consider public accommodations law, which can cover equal access to
healthcare services, marriage and family counseling, daycare, adoption
services...The clash between the redefinition of marriage and religious liberty in
this area was painfully evident when Catholic Charities in
Massachusetts, after a century of operating an adoption agency that
matched children with new parents, ceased offering this service to the
community rather than be forced by the state to place children with
same-sex couples contrary to Catholic teaching....Consider also the laws at various levels of government against housing
discrimination. If a religious university offers housing to married
student couples, will it be charged with discriminating if it denies
such housing to same-sex married couples?...And on the subject of universities and schools, consider the matter of
the accreditation of higher-ed programs and whole institutions, and the
control of curriculum in primary and secondary education. Already we can
see individual degree programs compelled by accrediting bodies, in
fields such as counseling, to conform themselves to the transformed
understanding of marriage and sexuality, as some religiously dissenting
students have discovered to their cost...Finally, consider the matter of tax exemption...If same-sex marriage is the new normal, and dissent from it on religious
grounds is the new bigotry, then with a stroke of a pen the IRS can
destroy the tax-exempt status of every para-church institution in the
country that is not on board with the redefinition of marriage—and
perhaps of the core institutions too, the churches, synagogues, and
mosques themselves." (See HERE)
For additional examples, see HERE and HERE.
[Update 7/26/15: Bake Me a Cake and Mark it with a B for Bigot and Legal Battles Following Gay Marriage]
As for homosexuals losing freedom, it is interesting to note that during the 1970's and early 80's, gays weren't all that interested in same-sex marriage. Rather, much of their activism was focused on getting rid of anti-sodomy laws. (See HERE and HERE) Their popular refrain, along with abortion advocates at the time, was: "Get the government out of our bedrooms." (See HERE) Many homosexuals, particularly the most vocal, as with proactive participants in the sexual revolution, figured it was none of the government's business who they slept with and what kind of sex they were having. Yet, fast-forward a few years, when it appears they are now, by way of same-sex marriage, very much interested in the government getting into the business of who is in their bedroom--which government involvement some homosexuals, then and now, view as an infringement on sexual liberties (see HERE).
For an explanation as to why these same-sex marriage Leftist LUNCs have happened, see: The politics of Victimization, Compassion, Equality, Emotions, Bullying, Propaganda and Disinformation. [the unlinked topics will be posted
later as they are completed]